The UAE on Thursday honoured Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the prestigious Zayed Medal for giving a “big boost’ to bilateral strategic ties.
President of the UAE Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan conferred Prime Minister Modi with the award, the highest decoration awarded to kings, presidents and heads of states.
“We have historical and comprehensive strategic ties with India, reinforced by the pivotal role of my dear friend, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who gave these relations a big boost. In appreciation of his efforts, the UAE President grants him the Zayed Medal,” Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohamed Bin Zayed tweeted.
The award, the UAE said, was in appreciation of Modi’s role in consolidating the long-standing friendship and joint strategic cooperation between the two countries, Khaleej Times reported.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj congratulated Modi:
Modi visited the UAE for the second time as Prime Minister in February last year and held wide-ranging talks with the Crown Prince.
After their talks, the two sides signed five agreements related to energy sector, railways, manpower and financial services. The Prime Minister’s first visit to the UAE took place in August 2015.
In February, the Crown Prince telephoned Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan as part of his efforts to de-escalate India-Pakistan tensions in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack.
Some of the other recipients of ‘Order of Zayed’ are Russian president Vladimir Putin, former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf and Queen Elizabeth II.
Chinese president Xi Jinping was bestowed with the award for his “role and efforts in supporting the development of close bilateral cooperation between China and the UAE”.
In 2016, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia was conferred with the the Order of Zayed for his role in strengthening the cooperation between the two countries, Khaleej Times had reported.
Modi recently received the Seoul Peace Prize for 2018 for his contribution to international cooperation and fostering global economic growth.
(With PTI inputs)